Author: Gugu Lourie

Liquid Telecom South Africa, part of pan-African telecoms group Liquid Telecom, is equipping Batlhalerwa Secondary school in Limpopo with much-needed ICT equipment and training to help learners and teachers achieve better results.  For the past two years, the South African government has been vocal about how the digital revolution is unlocking job creation and stimulating economic growth.  “As we drive societal digital transformation, access to ICT infrastructure and training forms a basic tenet of our digital inclusion imperative,” Communications and Digital Technologies Minister, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams says. “The department therefore continues to partner with industry stakeholders to provide Cyberlabs that are…

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Retailer Pepkor, previously Steinhoff Africa Retail, is starting to generate more income from financial technology (FinTech) services. The company, which is a subsidiary of JSE-listed Steinhoff, owns clothing retailers Pep and Ackermans, furniture stores such as Bradlows, Russells and Incredible Connection. Pepkor disclosed on Monday that its FinTech business delivered a 43.9% rise in revenue to R7.2 billion in the financial year ended September 30, 2019. The retailer added that operating profit for FinTech business swells by 93% to R483 million. The company operates its FinTech division through FLASH and Capfin. The FLASH business continues to report strong growth, completing…

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A South African FinTech (financial technology) startup has instituted a R14 million claim for damages against social media giant Facebook. PrepaidWealth.com, a startup co-founded by Gabriel Nkuna, has served a notice of motion filed at the Gauteng Local Division High Court in Johannesburg to Facebook Inc on the 19th November 2019. Nkuna said the notice was served following two incidences where Facebook Inc suspended and/or closed two promotional pages created for PrepaidWealth.com on the Facebook.com platform. The notice of motion served to Facebook Inc contains three terms. The first one is to declare the reason for suspending or closing the…

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Tech giant Prosus has called on Just Eat shareholders to accept its offer and reject that of rival Takeaway.com. Just Eat has rejected a £5bn hostile swoop by Prosus, the Dutch arm of South Africa internet titan Naspers. Its board is instead recommending investors support a planned merger with Takeaway.com that was announced this summer. The Euronext and JSE-listed tech giant owned by Naspers has made a bid of 4.9 billion pounds ($6.35 billion or R94 billion) or 710 pence a share, in cash. For more read: Naspers’ Prosus Makes R94bn Bid For Just Eat The offer, Prosus said, represented a 20% premium…

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Jaguar Land Rover has developed a technology that alerts the driver if it detects the tell-tale signs of drowsiness. The technology takes inputs from thousands of data points, some of which are measured every thousandth of a second, including the Electronic Power Assisted Steering system, pedal inputs and general driving behaviour. It also uses complex algorithms to analyse all this to accurately determine whether a driver is becoming fatigued. The technology is known as the Driver Condition Monitor and Jaguar Land Rover has developed it as part of a wider vision to enrich and improve the lives of its drivers…

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The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has requested both MTN and Cell C to provide all the agreements and associated information on the roaming transaction for review and to assess compliance with the applicable law and regulations. On Monday, MTN South Africa disclosed that it has signed a new long-form roaming and services agreement with Cell C, subject to certain conditions precedent. In May 2018, Cell C signed its first roaming agreement with MTN, providing Cell C with 2G, 3G and 4G roaming services on MTN’s network in select areas of South Africa. The new agreement will see…

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Telkom has confirmed it is in talks to buy struggling mobile phone operator Cell C. Cell C is 45% owned by JSE-listed Blue Label Telecoms, 15% by Net 1, 3 Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs) collectively hold 30% (in turn held by 3C Telecommunications and further in turn held as 29.4% by the Employee Believe Trust, 45.6% by Oger Telecoms and 25% by broad-based black empowerment grouping CellSAf); and Cell C Management and Staff hold 10%. “Telkom has substantially concluded its due diligence, however, discussions are at a preliminary stage,” the company informed investors on Friday. The company, which is partially…

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Even with the 5G era already upon us, investment in 4G/LTE networks is still vitally important for operators in sub-Saharan Africa and must remain a core focus of network construction for the immediate future. This is according to David Chen, vice-president, Huawei Southern Africa. “Currently, the mobile broadband penetration rate in Africa is only 47%, while 4G penetration rate is merely 10%,” Chen said. “Insufficient coverage causes LTE users to fall back to the 2G or 3G networks, resulting in significant decline in user experience. It also leads to congestion on the 2G and 3G networks and makes it difficult…

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At the root of the troubled tech firm EOH misery in the past few years has been a flawed strategy around corporate governance. EOH’s new management team under its boss Stephen van Coller initiated a probe led by law firm ENSafrica (ENS) to review all its large, historical licensing contracts with the state. The probe uncovered suspicious transactions worth R1.2 billion. EOH had issued reports to regulators and is pressing criminal charges as well as civil claims to recover stolen funds. “This has been a difficult time for the EOH business but we will continue the process of meaningful engagement…

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EOH, troubled JSE-listed technology group, has paid its CEO more than R19 million in 2019. The company disclosed in its annual report that Stephen van Coller, having been bought out of an existing contract joined with a guaranteed payment of R10 million, paid in two equal tranches in October 2018, and October 2019. Van Coller was also awarded 1 million share options on joining EOH. His total package include a basic salary of R5.4 million ( which includes medical aid, death and disability insurance, unemployment insurance fund (‘UIF’) and any amounts paid on resignation). It also consists of R14 million…

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